Hall had the unenviable task of succeeding Rupp, and while he was perhaps not as consistent as the program's foremost icon, he did win a championship in 1978 and generally preserved Kentucky's basketball brand. Hall had played under Rupp and served as his assistant for seven years before being elevated to the top role (though Rupp continued to loom large by maintaining an office in the building and his own TV show in the state).
Near misses in the years following the '78 title bothered the fan base -- blowing a sizable lead to Georgetown in a 1984 national semifinal was a big one -- as did the growing share of the regional and national spotlight achieved by Denny Crum at Louisville and Bob Knight at Indiana.
The then-56-year-old Hall resigned in March 1985, saying, "I didn't want to be an old coach" (though the school was also facing scrutiny for alleged booster payments to players and other transgressions during this era). Hall has remained an in-state fixture, and at age 90 has largely become the beloved local figure he never completely became while an active coach in the state.
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